There seemed to be no end to the lines at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale today! I arrived this morning (right around 8:30) with the thought that even if I did have to wait in line, it wouldn’t be too long. After all, the sale had just opened half an hour before my arrival. I have also attended on previous years at that same time, never having much of a wait.
Wow – was I wrong! The line outside was long, but it seemed to be moving at a good pace, so I took my place at the back and started chatting with the ladies who were waiting with me. Here’s a picture I took while outside, but to be frank, it doesn’t even begin to tell the story. To get a true picture, I would have needed to take an aerial shot!
Within an hour, we were walking in the front doors of the Coliseum, thinking it was time to do some shopping. But no, it wasn’t time for shopping – it was time for more waiting.
We had to go upstairs to the hallway that surrounds the arena, and there the line stopped moving. We waited there for what seemed like an eternity, although it was actually a little more than an hour. However, with the poor lighting, confined space, and the noise in the hall, I soon had a splitting headache. I had packed light too, forgetting to put the ibuprofen in my Hipster. So, my first words of wisdom – along with a fair amount of patience, don’t forget any meds you need (or may need)!
Finally, the line started moving, and a cheer went up in the hall. Everyone started slowly moving forward, and within minutes we were downstairs, entering the doors to the sale – finally! I looked at my watch. The time was 11:30 a.m. – I had waited 2-1/2 hours.
I’m sure the people who arrived after me had an even longer wait. When I left today, the line to get in was even longer. It went around the front of the Coliseum, down the side, and then snaked between the cars on the Parnell side of the parking lot. It then wrapped back around the front of the Coliseum, and shot straight back, with the end out somewhere near the old Wizards stadium. Crazy!
Well, enough about waiting in lines – let’s talk about the sale…
Friday Markdowns at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale
Not too many additional markdowns had been taken yet. In the past, when I attended on Friday, usually everything had been marked down at least once, sometimes twice. But this year, only a handful of items had been reduced. Here are some of the markdowns that had been taken:
Gabby: $15 (originally $23)
Handbag: $19 (originally $14)
Hannah: $8 (originally $12)
Libby: $14 (originally $19)
Maggie: $9 (originally $15
Morgan: $14 (originally $23)
Olivia: $10 (originally $15)
Saddle Up: $25 (originally $35)
Stephanie: $29 (originally $39)
Selection at the Sale
When you wait in line that long, you begin to wonder if anything good will be left! However, the selection today was decent. Personally, I really wished I had been able to go yesterday, when I’m sure it would have been even better.
If there was one pattern I saw the most, it was Puccini. There was also a lot of Yellow Bird, Raspberry Fizz, Cupcakes Green and Cupcakes Pink, and Riviera Blue left. In addition, there were a couple of tables with Frill and Nylon handbags. There was some microfiber left, but not much. I was actually hoping to pick up several pieces in the Caffe Latte pattern, but there wasn’t much left, and current patterns were virtually non-existent, although once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of Imperial Toile, Symphony in Hue and Paprika.
Checking Out at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale
I won’t once again bore you with stories about the lines at the sale, but once again, the checkout line was longer than anything I had ever seen. It extended back into the exposition center, where all the merchandise is located. In fact, they were discouraging people from sorting through their items on the floor, because they needed that space for people waiting to checkout.
I don’t think it took as long to checkout, but it did take some time. However, I have to give kudos to everyone working at the sale. They do a great job under difficult circumstances. If you do go to the sale, please be courteous to them, and not only that, thank them for their patience in dealing with all of us crazy Vera Bradley shoppers!
Has the Sale Outgrown Its Venue?
I have one more final thought for today, and I know this is getting long-winded! However, did you know that the very first Vera Bradley Outlet Sales were held in a 10 x 10 tent? Obviously, they have outgrown that venue, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe they have outgrown this venue too. I’m not sure if they could utilize additional space within the Coliseum, or perhaps find another location for the sale, but based on last year’s and this year’s record turnouts (and the crazy lines!), I think it’s time they start looking into alternative locations. Just my two cents! I still love the sale, and feel very lucky to have attended it this year.
So, now it’s your turn! Did you go to the sale today,a nd if so, what did you think about it?